Remembrance Day in Photos – No Words Necessary

Photo by Cathy BrowneIt was a glorious day to celebrate Remembrance Day and commemorate the bravery and sacrifice of our armed forces, and the next generation of Canadian military.

Under the canopy of a brilliant blue November sky, I joined thousands of men, women and children standing in respectful silence, and when we could, erupting in heartfelt, grateful applause for everyone who has fought, suffered, and died keeping us all safe and free.

I am letting my Remembrance Day pictures speak for themselves. There is not much more to say, except Thank You.

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by CAthy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

Photo by Cathy Browne

 

Remembrance – and Remembering

Tomorrow, I’ll be joining thousands of Vancouverites in Victory Square for Remembrace Day ceremonies, remembering the sacrifices of brave men and woman through many wars. I’ll be capturing special moments on camera. So today, on Day 10 of my #NaBloPoMo adventure, I’m honouring an uncle I never knew, and also cherishing the memory of another man who meant the world to me.

My uncle, John O’Donnell, lost his life close to the end of WWII at age 23, robbed of a future, and taken from his loving family too soon. Here is the description that I discovered with the photo…

O’DONNELL, Lance Sergeant, JOHN JOSEPH, D/26811, 22nd Armd. Regt., Canadian Grenadier Guards, R.C.A.C. 26 February 1945. Age 23. Son of Frank and Ann O’Donnell, of Montreal, Province of Quebec. Grave Ref. XXII. A. 9. GROESBEEK CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands.

JohnO'Donnell.MontrealGrenadiers.WWII.diedMarch1945I’ll never forget the effects of war and loss on the family, friends, lovers and of everyone lost in such conflicts. But I always remember someone else on November 11th.

Back in 1969, when I was 15, I lost my grandfather, Frank O’Donnell on Remembrance Day. He was my best friend and I still feel his loss like it was yesterday. He raised eight kids in Montreal’s Pointe St. Charles neighbourhood, lost his son to war and his wife to heart disease far too early. He loved the Canadiens, Labatt 50 and Export A cigarettes. When I was a sickly infant born way too soon, he walked me up and down the hallway, whistling softly.

CAB_49701He never stopped whistling, or caring for me. I learned to say Jesus Murphy because of him! And he was a constant source of love and support to my mother and her three girls through tough times.

He called me Caddy. I adored him. I never stop remembering him.

He was a chemist. He would have liked that Dave was a chemist too.

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Love you, Gramp.

I Remember…

On this Remembrance Day, I am remembering my uncle, who never got to see his many nieces and nephews, and never got to have kids of his own. My mother misses him to this day. He died so close to the end of the war…

Thank you, Uncle John. Thank you to all those brave and wonderful men and women who fought and never came home. Thank you to those who served and are serving still. And than you to all the families and friends who love and have loved all these good and honourable people. We must never forget.

O’DONNELL, Lance Sergeant, JOHN JOSEPH, D/26811, 22nd Armd. Regt., Canadian Grenadier Guards, R.C.A.C. 26 February 1945. Age 23. Son of Frank and Ann O’Donnell, of Montreal, Province of Quebec. Grave Ref. XXII. A. 9. GROESBEEK CANADIAN WAR CEMETERY, Netherlands

I’m also remembering my grandfather Frank, who died on November 11, 1969. He was my best friend. I love him still.

Who are you remembering today?

 

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Photo Friday: Lest We Forget

I decided this morning to head down to the Remembrance Day ceremony in Vancouver’s Victory Square to honour the brave men and women who have sacrificed so much in fighting for freedom and peace and against tyranny. I also wanted to capture the moment, if I could.

It moved me to tears to see thousands of people, young and old, in attendance. I loved to see young couples holding each other close. And the faces of some of the very few veterans left – well, there are no words. Just thanks, with a full heart.

Here’s my slide show. I’ll always remember today.